Former Congressman Geoff Davis and Hunter Bates join forces in consulting and lobbying firm

11/30/2012 09:28 PM

(UPDATED WITH COMMENTS FROM DAVIS) Former 4th District Congressman Geoff Davis is joining forces with lobbyist Hunter Bates, who was once a potential rival for that congressional seat nearly a decade ago.

Roll Call first reported that the two were teaming up at the firm Republic Consulting, Inc. — the firm Davis and his wife, Patricia Davis, first founded in 2003, according to documents filed with the Secretary of State’s office.

Davis resigned from the U.S. House at the end of July, citing an illness in the family. Davis told Pure Politics in an e-mail message Friday evening that “as we got some stability restored, I eventually restarted my consulting firm, Republic Consulting, Inc.”

“Hunter was a friend of mine long before I went into government service. His integrity, knowledge, and work ethic are beyond reproach,” Davis said. “During the fall, we began a dialogue about our future plans and it made sense for us to consider putting our business efforts together.”

Davis said Bates will “essentially fold his firm into Republic Consulting.”

Bates, the former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, has run his own lobbying firm, Bates Capitol Group, Inc. , for nearly a decade with offices in Washington and Louisville. Clients include Brown-Forman, United Parcel Service, RJ Corman Railroad and Louisville Gas & Electric/Kentucky Utilities, among other clients.

“Those relationships are likely to continue in 2013,” Davis said. “Together, we bring a broad skill set to the table and a truly full service consulting operation. We
feel like we have a very strong consulting team, but will explore adding
additional folks later in 2013.”

According to federal law, Davis can’t lobby his former colleagues for a year after leaving Congress — although some in Congress have pushed to extend that.

Politico mentioned Davis as one of several former or soon-to-be-former members of Congress who have chosen to join lobbying/consulting firms in recent weeks.

Bates did not return two phone calls and an email requesting comment.

Davis won the 4th Congressional District in 2004 after then-Democratic Congressman Ken Lucas retired. Davis, a former business consultant and ex-Army Ranger, had lost his bid in 2002 to unseat Lucas. After conceding on Election Night, Davis vowed to run again in 2004. But McConnell, at the time, made it known that he preferred Bates.

Bates didn’t end up running. And he declined to run this year after Davis announced he wouldn’t seek a fifth term.

Republican Thomas Massie was sworn in as the new congressman from the 4th District on Nov. 13.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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